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New Flying Robot Navigates through Obstacles

Constructed using a design approach that is absolutely different from similar robots, the flying robot “Airburr” is capable of actively navigating around obstacles.

“Airburr”,the flying robot

AirBurr has been designed by incorporating the navigational algorithms, developed in EPFL’s Intelligent Systems Laboratory (LIS), to resist the shock of a collision. AirBurr can efficiently navigate by exploiting these contacts.

Inspired by the previously developed flying robot that avoids obstacles, project leader Adam Klaptocz designed a well-built, dynamic, autonomous helicopter that is capable of remaining airborne following collision, and can subsequently upright itself again. The results of this project were published in the journal IEEE Transactions in Robotics.

Flying Robot That Can Crash and Keep Flying

After intentionally contacting its surroundings, AirBurr finds its access of navigation. Surrounded by carbon-fiber fuselage that acts like a protective covering, it remains stable during dexterous tasks. It includes four retractable legs, designed for complicated situations. With in-built two propellers fitted on the same axis, AirBurr can spin after a push-off. Its orientation will be autonomously controlled by the integrated accelerometers and gyroscopes.

Flying robots can navigate in environments where terrestrial machines fail. These robots are ideal for deployments in hazardous zones with obstacles, like caves and mines, collapsed buildings, and irradiated areas. Research on AirBurr has been conducted based on developing navigational algorithms regarding contact with other objects, absorbing the shock of collisions, and devising mechanical procedures to evade from complex physical situations.

The prototype will be customized based on the requirement of the user. For instance, the design of AirBurr platform may have to support expedition through extreme conditions entailing contact with water, heat or radiation.

Currently, the engineers are designing an improved version.

Source: http://www.epfl.ch/

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